Are there examples in the Bible to bolster the aged, that their lives are not over until God says so?


From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: My father who was once vibrant, active, and a wonderful servant of the Lord, is not aging well. While his health is generally good, he has retreated from life but still has much to offer; I just don’t know how to encourage him. Are there examples in the Bible to bolster the aged, that their lives are not over until God says so? – T.A.

A: You’ve probably never heard of Barzillai. He lived in an obscure, isolated village, and virtually his whole life was behind him when we meet him in the Bible. “Now Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. And he had provided [King David] with supplies” (2 Samuel 19:32, NKJV). Even then, his story occupies only a few verses. But without Barzillai, the history of God’s people might have been vastly different.

In one of the saddest events in the Bible, King David’s son Absalom revolted against his father and attempted to take the throne by force. David and his men had to flee for their lives, and by the time they reached the vicinity of Barzillai’s home, they were out of supplies and in danger of starvation. But Barzillai came to their aid and David’s army was saved. Absalom’s rebellion collapsed and David – Jesus’ ancestor – was restored to the throne. Barzillai could have easily said, “I’m too old to do anything,” or, “It’s too risky; what if Absalom wins?” But he didn’t. He was obedient to God to reach out to the needs around him.

The Bible is clear that no one should waste the years God gives to us. As long as there’s breath in our bodies, God has work for us to do. We shouldn’t grow weary of doing good but continue, at any age, to seek ways to serve the Lord and to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ (see Galatians 6:9).



(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

©2024 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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